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The Mass Media

Spooky LGBTQ+ books to celebrate Autumn

It’s finally autumn, and that means it’s time for some spooky media, and what better way to ring in the season than to curl up in Healey Library with a book, watch the wind blow outside and plan out your Halloween costume? For those who are always on the lookout for new LGBTQ+ reads, here are three lesser-known queer books that perfectly nail that eerie, dark vibe.

Set in the fall of 1991 at the Blackfriar’s School for Boys, “Fraternity” by Andy Mientus follows three points of view: Zooey, a new transfer to the school who was chased away from his last home for mysterious reasons; Daniel, a popular football player who is harboring a secret of his own from his parents; and Leo, the only out-and-proud boy in the school who seems to fly under the radar just a little too well.

Zooey is bisexual, and he has yet to come out to anyone out of fear of persecution, but he quickly finds his home in the school’s secret queer fraternity. They meet in the night and hide expertly from the rest of the student body—that is, until they discover an ancient occult text that turns their lives upside down.

“Fraternity” shines in its realistic portrayal of the AIDS pandemic, homophobia and conversion therapy. The characters are captivating, and their journeys of self-discovery are beautiful to witness. The relationships between the characters are so strong and their energies so infectious that readers can’t help but gobble down half the book in one sitting, not to mention the mysteries are perfectly drawn out. It’s a must-read for fans of boarding school drama and demons.

“Hell Followed with Us” is the debut novel from transgender author Andrew Joseph White. The book is about Benji, a teenage transgender boy who is trying to outrun the cult that raised him. Armageddon has already happened, and Benji is the final thread that is holding the world together. He’s been infected with a powerful bioweapon, one that could destroy the entire universe if unleashed. 

Benji finds solace in a survivalist group made up entirely of LGBTQ+ teens, which is where the book gets even more interesting. Nick, the group’s leader, is brooding and beautiful, and he knows more about Benji than Benji himself realizes. The rest of the gang is diverse, and there’s a character in there for everyone. They’re all interesting and relatable, and readers root for them the entire way through. On top of all that, this book is full of biblical body horror that leaves even true horror aficionados cringing. 

“Where Echoes Die” by Courtney Gould follows Beck and her sister, Riley, who have arrived in the town of Backravel, Arizona after the death of their mother. Beck is troubled by the recent loss, and she has been spending all of her time immersed in her mother’s unfinished articles and research. Then she gets a note in the mail in her mother’s handwriting reading, “come and find me,” along with a map to Backravel. Beck jumps at the opportunity for answers, and instead she finds a town with no cars, no cemeteries and a population of weird locals that can’t seem to remember anything about how they got there.

The most intriguing part of the book, interestingly enough, is the relationship between Beck and Avery, the daughter of the town founder. The two of them have an intimacy that Beck hasn’t felt since the loss of her mother, and the closeness they feel to each other will warm the hearts of anyone searching for some new sapphic romance. Love and grief are intertwined in this novel, but above all, the uncomfortable horror of lost memories is very well done.

Happy reading!